The Cincinnati Reds hand agreed to a deal with Venezuelan catching prospect Alfredo Duno. As I reported earlier today, the Reds will holding their official signings for the 2023 international signing class on Monday afternoon at their complex in the Dominican Republic.
For a long time the Cincinnati Reds didn’t do much signing of players to 7-figure signing bonuses unless they were Cuban players who were a bit older than the typical 16-year-old players that tend to make up the bulk of international signings. Until the rules were changed in 2017 to cap all spending the Reds had signed just three non-Cuban players on the international scene to 7-figure deals. The team couldn’t spend more than $300,000 on any player in the 2017/18 or 2018/19 classes after facing penalties for what they spend on Cuban-born players Jose Barrero, Alfredo Rodriguez, and Vladimir Gutierrez. But in the last four years they have signed five players to 7-figure signing bonuses.
In 2022 the Reds signed Venezuelan shortstop Ricardo Cabrera to a then record setting bonus for the organization. He made his debut this year for the complex team in the Dominican Republic and after a slow start to the year turned things around in a big way over the final two months. The signing bonus for Alfredo Duno tops that and now sits as the largest bonus for a non-Cuban international signing for the club.
Depending on where you look, Alfredo Duno is anywhere from the #3 rated prospect in the class to the #7 rated prospect in the class. Even while reading the various public reports you can see that some evaluators have Duno as the top guy in the class. He’s a potential 5-tool catcher, and given how catchers tend to run, that’s quite the rarity.
His raw power may be his best tool, grading out as a plus to plus-plus tool thanks to big time bat speed and his strength. His hit tool projects to be average in the future, which for a catcher sticks out. The same goes for his speed where he’s an average runner, but at the position it sticks out. Behind the plate he’s got plus arm strength, good hands, can receive well, and has plenty of athleticism that should help him block well.
The club also announced that they have agreements with 12 other players. Here’s the full list of those players:
|Alfredo Alcantara||SS||Dominican Republic|
|Andre Vasquez||RHP||Dominican Republic|
|Angel De La Cruz||OF||Dominican Republic|
|Brayan Joseph||SS||Dominican Republic|
|Bryan Diaz||LHP||Dominican Republic|
|Yeycol Soriano||CF||Dominican Republic|